On Tuesday, July 15th, the staff at Royal Air Force Museum Cosford received three iconic WWI aircraft. They will form the centre of a new First World War Exhibition. The Bristol M1c, Sopwith 1 ½ Strutter and Sopwith Pup are due to go on display within the museum’s War Planes Hangar in December 2014. The Sopwith Pup, serial N5182, is an original aircraft which was active during the First World War. The Pup, thought of by its pilots as the perfect flying machine, served extensively with the Royal Naval Air Service and the Royal Flying Corps both at home and abroad. The Bristol M1c and Sopwith 1 ½ Strutter are accurate, full-scale reproductions.
The aircraft journeyed on two low-loader lorries from RAF Museum Hendon in London, along the M1, M6 and M54 motorways. Delighted members of the public and museum staff welcomed the aircraft arrivals, before they entered the Museum’s Conservation Centre for reassembly. The Sopwith Pup will undergo some minor fabric repair work to the tail before going on public display later this year. The three aircraft will be the focal point of the museum’s First World War Exhibition opening this December to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of that conflict’s beginning. Their presence will offer museum audiences a tangible link to help them discover and explore the unique and often overlooked role of air power during the First World War through the incredible stories of the men and women who took part. The Heritage Lottery Fund provided a £898,558 grant which made possible this exhibition; ‘First World War In The Air’.
Alex Medurst, RAF Museum Cosford General Manager stated that, “These three iconic aircraft will provide a dramatic focus for our upcoming First World War exhibition. The Museum at Cosford looks forward to sharing them with its visitors and marking the historic anniversary.”
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